Foods are complex mixtures of components with diverse thermal, mechanical, rheological and ageing properties. Synchrotron techniques allow researchers to correlate the macroscopic properties of a sample with its microstructure, helping companies meet consumer demand for nutritional value, novelty and ease of use, across products ranging from bread to butter.

The food industry benefits from the advantages of synchrotron radiation in different ways. A few of the possibilities of research offered by the Australian Synchrotron are:

• Visualising the multi-length scale pore structure of samples, for example, freeze-dried vegetables.
• Understanding how the microstructure of food changes due to temperature abuse using high-resolution tomography imaging.
• Detecting trace elements and map molecular groups and structures on the nanoscale using infrared spectroscopy.

Typical synchrotron techniques for food and agribusiness:

·          Crystallography
·          Small angle X-ray scattering
·          Infrared and spectroscopic mapping of tablets
·          Analysis of feedstock polymorphs
·          Analysis of trace API in products
·          3D structural characterisation of proteins, macromolecular drug tests, small molecules, ligands and complexes
·          Characterising drug formulations in-vitro and in-vivo
·          Characterising drug distribution in living tissue
·          Micro- and nano-structure of implantable materials
·          3D micro structure of implantable devices.